Fruits Basket Season 2
Rating: 7.5 out of 10 stars
- Wonderful animation
- Beautiful style
- Tohru is a sweet and likable protagonist who we can really root for
- Accurate depiction of panic attacks
- Introduction of plenty of interesting characters who become increasingly important
- Far too overdramatic at times
- Some “tell” instead of “show” moments
Warning: Some Spoilers Ahead!
Fruits Basket is an anime that follows the life of Tohru Honda, a high schooler who becomes privy to the secret of the Sohma family. Their secret is that they each become a different zodiac animal when hugged by a member of the opposite sex. Tohru ends up living with three of the Sohmas: Yuki, Kyo, and Shigure.
In this season, I found myself increasingly frustrated with Kyo and Yuki for hating each other. I mean, yeesh. They are both good people with massive internal struggles. They should be able to relate to each other and be good friends. Not really a con, just kind of sad.
Yuki is dealing with all sorts of insecurities and his past trauma, mostly caused by Akito. Kyo is facing the fact that he will be confined forever after graduation if he does not defeat Yuki. I admit, I like Kyo much better than Yuki, since Yuki can be annoying. But having Yuki’s backstory allows me to forgive him for being so self-centered in the present.
In the first episode, we meet Machi and Manabe, new members of the student council. Machi is a girl who breaks things frequently on purpose–this is explained later. Manabe is a laidback guy who makes fun of Yuki. Yuki is not used to being teased, so his reactions are pretty funny. I found some of the student council stuff boring, but overall it added a lot to the story.
Tohru and the Sohmas deal with ordinary school stuff like figuring out career plans and parent-teacher meetings in addition to their more serious problems.
I absolutely love Ayame, the zodiac snake. He is funny and quirky, and loves his brother Yuki. Even though Yuki is embarrassed by Ayame, they are able to find some common ground. His constant flirting with Shigure is a source of comedy.
Arisa finds a love interest. His name is Kureno and he is 26 years old, which to me seemed like a significant age gap for sure since Arisa is still finishing up high school. I get why he had to be that old due to his relationship to Akito, but I don’t see why he had to be a love interest for Arisa. I thought it was interesting that one of the reasons Arisa likes him so much is because he reminds her of Tohru.
One of the best things about this season is that it amps up the tension and drama. Hatsuharu is dumped by his girlfriend Rin (Isuzu Sohma). Akito is a lingering threat who becomes more dangerous as they get increasingly involved with the lives of the other Sohmas. The curse of the Sohmas is revealed to be a strong bond between Akito and the other Sohmas that links them together, more a chain than a bond. The curse causes them to become their zodiac animals at inopportune moments and to be able to live their lives to the fullest.
The drama can be too much at times, such as when Arisa loses her temper at Kureno for calling grocery shopping trivial. It just seems unrealistic sometimes.
Rin has realistic panic attacks, which is good considering that this anime handled serious issues so poorly in the first season.
The Cinderella play that the class puts on is hilarious, with Yuki as the fairy godmother, Tohru as an evil stepsister, Kyo as the prince, etc. The parts they play do not fit them well and it is honestly hilarious. Arisa essentially confesses her love to Kureno during the play. The whole thing is a mess, but it’s a funny mess.
The animation and art style are completely beautiful–it is certainly a pretty anime.
I would recommend this anime even for those who did not love season 1, because it is a major improvement over the first season.
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